Finding and renting an apartment is a huge task—and often an expensive one. Many apartments have a fee to simply apply for an apartment. It’s frustrating and stressful, and after you find an apartment, the last thing you want to think about is spending more money.
But some landlords require you to have renters’ insurance. Do you really need it? Or are they just trying to take more money from you?
First, landlords may require renters’ insurance to protect their own assets. Landlords, if they require insurance, typically require tenants to carry liability coverage. This is so that if you cause bodily injury or property damage to another tenant, the damages will be covered and won’t fall back on the landlord to handle. If you have a pet, you may also be required to carry pet liability insurance to cover any damage they cause. So, landlords aren’t trying to squeeze more money from you by requiring renters’ insurance. In fact, they never see a dime of your renters’ insurance. They’re simply trying to protect themselves and other tenants.
If you’re on the fence about whether or not you actually need renters’ insurance, consider the threats around you. Say you leave home to have lunch with a friend. An hour later you come back to find that your apartment has been broken into, your cash and laptop stolen. Doesn’t you landlord’s insurance cover this? Unfortunately, no. Your landlord’s insurance may cover the damage to the door, but it won’t cover the stolen items. Without renters’ insurance, you’re left having to replace everything that was stolen out of pocket.
There are two ways you can choose to receive compensation: actual cash value (ACV) or replacement cost value (RCV). ACV provides compensation for the lost or damaged items and doesn’t account for depreciation. You typically receive less money with this value, but it is also less expensive. With RCV, you receive enough compensation to replace the lost or damaged item with an item of similar or identical value.
How Much is Renters Insurance in Georgia?
Luckily, renters’ insurance is relatively affordable. In Georgia, the average cost of renters’ insurance is about $15 a month.
What Does Renters Insurance Cover?
Renters insurance covers:
- Personal Possessions: Personal possessions coverage provides compensation for items lost or damaged due to a covered incident. Incidents covered beneath this insurance usually includes fire, lightning, smoke, limited water damage, theft and vandalism.
- Liability: Liability provides medical bill compensation and legal fee compensation in case you cause bodily injury or property damage to someone else. This extends even off the rented property. You can also add pet liability for your pets.
- Additional Living Expenses: In some cases, disasters make it impossible to continue living in the rented space. In this case, additional living expenses (ALE) helps you temporarily move while repairs are being made.
What Does Renters Insurance Not Cover?
Renters insurance does not usually cover flood or earthquake damage, criminal acts, or intentional injury or property damage. It also doesn’t cover the structure of the apartment building itself. While renters’ insurance may help if your specific unit is damaged, it is the landlord’s responsibility to carry insurance for the apartment complex and its attached structures.
How Does a Deductible Work for Renters Insurance?
Say a fire destroys $1000 of damage. Your deductible is $400. This means you must pay $400 out of pocket and your insurance agency will cover the remaining $600. A higher deductible means paying more out of pocket after a disaster but can also mean paying lower monthly insurance premiums.